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HIS X800XL IceQ Turbo HIS X800XL IceQ Turbo: If you're not ready to spend the big bucks for ATI's latest, you can get similar performance at close to 40% less money.
Date: July 20, 2005
Written By:

When it comes to video cards there have always been three distinct options, budget, mid range and high end. The main drawback to this is there has always been a HUGE margin of difference between the three brackets. Slower memory/ core speeds and fewer pixel pipelines equate to a significant drop in performance. The XL line of cards is basically a hybrid of mid range and high end ATI cards, yet it retains the mid range price tag. With slower memory and core speeds, but the same 16 pixel pipelines as the XT cards the XL has proven to be an excellent choice for those looking for the biggest performance boost per dollar spent.

The X800XL IceQ turbo 256MB PCIe has an impressive sounding name, and according to the technical specs should provide some impressive results as well. As mentioned above, the XL line of cards is a hybrid, they have slower clock speeds than an X800 Pro, but have a full 16 pixel pipelines as opposed to the 12 found on the X800 Pro. With core speeds just above those of an X800, the X800XL is a mixture of all of the X8xx line from the standard X800 on up to the X800XT.

Features and Specifications

Model Name HIS X800XL IceQ II Turbo 256MB PCIe
Chipset Radeon X800 PCIe Series 
ASIC R430 
Pixel Pipelines 16 
Vertex Engines
Manu. Process (Micron) 110nm 
Transistor 160M 
Fill Rate 6912MTexel/s 
Memory Size (MB) 256 
Memory Type GDDR3 
RAMDAC (MHz) 400 Dual 
Engine CLK (MHz) 432 (Turbo)
Memory CLK (MHz) 1000 (Turbo)
Memory Interface (bit) 256
Memory Bandwidth 32.0GB/s
Max. Resolution 2048x1536
Bus Interface PCIe
2nd VGA Yes
2nd DVI No
TV-out Yes
HDTV (YPrPb component output) Yes
Video-in No
TV Tuner No
FM Tuner No

Massive Performance Gives Rise to High-Definition (HD) Gaming
The HIS X800 series produces frame rates that surpass all previous graphic processors. Based on a radically new architecture, ATI has combined the latest semiconductor manufacturing process with ultra-fast and efficient GDDR3 memory to produce extreme data rates and unbelievable acceleration in a quiet and cool single-slot solution. The result is an incredibly smooth and responsive high-definition gaming experience.

World's most advanced 3D Architecture
The HIS X800 series features SMARTSHADER™ HD, the most advanced pixel shader engine ever offered. With up to 16 parallel pixel pipelines, 6 programmable vertex shader pipelines and an overall capability of up to 200 GigaFLOPS, the HIS X800 series delivers the most advanced high-definition 3D animation for the ultimate intense and interactive game play. The HIS X800 series also offers unparalleled DirectX® 9.0 and OpenGL® shader support to ensure current and upcoming games look and play brilliantly, especially in high-definition.

Cutting Edge Video Technology
With VIDEOSHADER™ HD, the HIS X800 series takes advantage of its advanced shader processing engine for user programmable video effects, video quality enhancement, and encoding and decoding of many video standards, including MPEG1/2/4, Real Media, DivX and WMV9. The HIS X800 series also supports the latest high-definition and widedisplay formats, giving users bigger and more vivid movie, gaming and Internet experiences.

IceQ cooling technology
The IceQ cooling system draws cool air from inside the case and exhausts warm air outwards. This prevents the fan from recycling warm air to cool the VPU, which increases cooling performance and lower the air temperature inside the case significantly.

HIS iTURBO Utility
HIS iTURBO easy to use interface provides a flexibility way for users to adjust the VPU clock, memory clock and fan speed, with the features of VPU temperature and fan speed monitoring.

CrossFire™ Multi-GPU Ready
HIS CrossFire™ is the ultimate multi-GPU consumer graphics solution, igniting an entirely new gaming experience with the power of multiple GPUs within a single PC. Starting with a HIS CrossFire Ready graphic card and motherboard, using a single external cable unites another HIS CrossFire™ Edition co-processor graphic card. HIS CrossFire™ accelerates all your games, all the time, and delivers the highest image quality modes and resolutions with no special software or patches needed for compatibility.

OK, enough of all the technical jargon, lets take a look at the card and what you get with it. The box is pretty unassuming, no loud graphics jumping out at you, just information about the card on the front and back as well as a window to give you a peak at what lies inside.


HIS didn't include a huge bundle of outdated demos for games that no one really plays anymore. The actual software bundle is pretty small and as far as I'm concerned that's the way I prefer it. I would much rather the money I'm spending be on the hardware and not a bundle of useless demo's and utilities I'll never use.

I actually installed Dungeon Siege and still play it to this day, I think that's a first for any bundled software I've ever received with a video card.

Once the card is removed from the box it's kind of hard to miss the IceQ cooling system that covers the entire front of the card. It looks to me like a modified Arctic Silencer, and if you have read any of the reviews for that cooler it performs quite well. Due to the size of the cooler the card takes up two slots at the back of your PC, so if you have a lot of PCI devices you might need to start looking into alternatives as you will lose access to one PCI slot. There is another PCI plate that covers the slot taken up by the fan, the picture below does not show the slot cover,

The actual heatsink on this card is massive, it covers the memory and core on the front of the card and consists of about 30 fins.

According to HIS this cooler will keep the card 11C degrees cooler than the stock cooler and do it at a noise level less then 20db. I don't have a way to test the actual noise level, but I can tell you I was unable to hear the IceQ cooler over any of the fans in my case.


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